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Will "Print" outlive "desktop"?

"Print will be around longer than the desktop," New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. told a group of media professionals Thursday morning.

Interesting point of view — I don't think anyone is really arguing against the idea that "mobile" (including tablets) is the future of "computers." (A report from Enders Analysis today talks about mobile devices accounting for 50% of time spent online in the UK, and tablet shipments overtaking PC sales.) The "PC" is clearly in decline as mobile is growing.

But the same story has been accepted to be true of print for a good few years now — pring has been in decline while "digital" was a growth story. So its a thought-provoking question - which one will last longer — "old" physical print, or "old" digital?

To be honest, I wouldn't like to bet against the long-term future of print. But then again, is its future going to be just as much of a "speciality" as a personal computer?

Creative Computers

Creative Computers

Its been clear for years that the 'desktop' PC is in decline – the world has chosen the laptop form factor, which can be used anywhere, rather than the more powerful, economical and desktop-bound devices.

But is there a more interesting trend that the one place most laptop users aren't interested in using their computers is sitting at a desk?


Windows 9: The operating system formerly known as Windows 8.1

Paul Thurrot recently shared some of what he's been hearing about the next big Windows release — codename "Threshold".

Some interesting stuff about "Metro 2.0", and the first major "vision" announcement since Longhorn, but the bit I found most interesting was;

Windows 9. To distance itself from the Windows 8 debacle, Microsoft is currently planning to drop the Windows 8 name and brand this next release as Windows 9. That could change, but that's the current thinking.

This strikes me as a dangerously bad idea. So much that I just can't believe that it might happen.

Firstly, a big difference between an '8 to 9' upgrade and an update/service pack is the price. If the tainted 'Windows 8' brand is ditched, will it still be free, as previously reported? Seems like something that would be very likely for a point release, but would be setting a revolutionary precedent for Microsoft. (Unless they were to move to a 'free software, paid support' model – consumers get to run the latest version for free, businesses pay for ongoing support etc?)

But the bigger issue – is this really addressing the problem? Microsft had a problem with Vista, which it addressed by making Windows 7 a significant improvement. If Windows 9 does turn out to be a rebadged Windows 8.1, then it risks turning the "Windows 8" problem into a "Windows" problem.

And, if the future of the Windows device really is something more like the Surface than the traditional laptop form factor, that becomes a big problem.

My Windows Weekly cohost Mary Jo Foley notes that Update 1 will be tied, schedule-wise to Windows Phone 8.1 and that both releases are a step towards that future when Windows and Phone are combined.

Lots of marketing moves that make total sense. My worry is whether the company that didn't see the problems they had with Windows 8 before they released it will be able to fix them for the next release and restore the confidence of PC buyers.

Its not like the people selling PCs have enought to worry about. Even Intel looks like its hedging its bets.

What is the future of 'heavy duty' computers?

What is the future of 'heavy duty' computers?

 "The future of computers" is clearly focused on mobility and portability. But that isn't to say that big, desktop machines are going to go away. So where are the "heavy duty" computers heading?